When it comes to taking care of your lawn, not all seasons will require the same exact strategy. Various factors like the weather and temperature will greatly impact how you approach lawncare in Washington DC. Summer lawn care in Washington DC, for instance, will be a lot different than winter lawn care.
In case you’re in need of some summer lawn care tips for the upcoming season, let’s go through a comprehensive breakdown of everything you need to know when it comes to perfecting your summer lawn care schedule in the great city of Washington DC.
What Kind of Grass Should You Use in Washington DC?
Because Washington DC is located in something known as the transition zone, you have a few different options here. The transition zone is a zone within the United States where both temperate and subtropical climates meet. This means that while both warm-season and cool-season grass can survive here, neither will thrive year-round.
For this reason, it’s best to use a mix of both types. Monoculture lawns (lawns with only one type of grass) tend to be more susceptible to weeds and lawn diseases, so using a mix is a great choice for the Washington DC area.
Early Summer Lawn Care in Washington DC
In early summer, watering and mowing your lawn should be your main priority. It’s best to mow during a cooler time of the day like early morning or late afternoon, to avoid putting undue stress on your lawn.
You’ll want to mow in between 2 and 4 times per month, never cutting more than 1/3 the height of your lawn off at once. Cutting your lawn too short can make it vulnerable to drying out faster.
Different grasses thrive at similar, but sometimes varying heights. Because you’ll be using a mix, you’ll want to keep your lawn anywhere from a ½ inch to 2 inches tall. Raising your mower blades up an inch during times of extreme heat is a good idea as well.
Try not to walk the same path every time you mow, as this can cause ruts to develop in your yard. Also, by leaving the clippings on your lawn after you’re done mowing, you can provide your lawn with natural fertilizer which will help it thrive.
Lawn Watering During the Summer
Watering your lawn can be done by hand, or with an irrigation system like drip irrigation or sprinklers. You should aim for an inch of water per week, adjusting upward or downward depending on how much rain you’re getting and how intense the heat is.
Watering deeply and infrequently is the best way to help your lawn develop deep roots that will help it stay green all summer long. 10 inches deep is a good depth to aim for, and you can test the depth of your water trickle by inserting a screwdriver or similar object into the ground when you’re done with lawn watering.
There are no watering restrictions in Washington DC at the moment that you have to worry about.
Mid-Summer Lawn Care in Washington DC
For Washington DC lawn care in summer during the middle part of the season, maintenance is key. Keep doing what you’re doing and your lawn will be just fine. You may want to watch out for common lawn weeds like white clover, plantain, chickweed, and dandelions.
If you notice an infestation of these creeping in, you may want to consider using some type of herbicide or pesticide. Calling in a professional to get the job done is not out of the question in this scenario.
Late Summer Lawn Care in Washington DC
End of summer lawn care in Washington DC will involve aeration and fertilization. Aeration can be done with a machine that has either hollow metal tines or tubes which are used to remove soil plugs caused by foot traffic. Be careful not to use a machine that will just punch holes in your lawn. After the plugs have been removed your lawn will be able to breathe much easier. Use a rake or shovel to break them up and then re-fertilize your lawn to aid in its recovery.
Fertilization is best done in mid to late spring, but late summer is a good time as well. Use 1 to 2lbs of actual nitrogen per every 1,000 square feet of your lawn. Remember never to fertilize your lawn during peak summer, as high temps can burn your lawn and create tender new growth that may struggle to survive in the heat.
Another thing to keep in mind when planning lawn care for summer in Washington DC is lawn mower maintenance. Buy a sharpening kit for your mower at a local hardware store and use it to sharpen and balance your blades. Clean the underside of the mower by removing any clumped up grass and debris, and change the oil before you store it away.
By storing your mower in a place where it won’t suffer from rust buildup or other types of damage, it will be ready to right out of the gate when the next mowing season comes around.
Still have questions about lawn care? Visit our Washington DC lawn care page for more information.
Top Photo: Visual Hunt